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Breads, Desserts

Panettone

Panettone
Robert Lachman / Los Angeles Times

During the Christmas season, we bake. We bake rich, show-offy treats for big parties and once-a-year gatherings. But we also bake for the quiet moments, the times that will become treasured memories. And there's nothing better to offer with that ... Read more

Total time: 1 1/2 hours, plus rising time | Serves 12 to 16 (6 to 8 per panettone)
  • 1/2 cup diced candied orange peel ( 1/4 -inch dice)
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup dark seedless raisins
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 egg yolks, at room temperature
  • Seeds of 1/2 vanilla pod
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted

Step 1In a small bowl, combine the orange peel, golden raisins, seedless raisins and rum and let stand 30 minutes.

Step 2In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast over one-fourth cup warm water (110 to 115 degrees) and stir until dissolved. Stir in 1 teaspoon of the sugar. Let stand until the yeast begins to bubble, about 5 minutes.

Step 3To the yeast mixture, add the eggs, egg yolks, remaining sugar, vanilla pod seeds and the salt. Beat until combined with the whisk attachment on a stand mixer, or with a whisk by hand. Beat in the flour until blended with a paddle attachment or by hand using a fork.

Step 4Beat in the softened butter (if not using a stand mixer, this may need to be done with your hands), a little at a time until dough has a glossy sheen and becomes ropey, about 5 minutes (10 minutes by hand).

Step 5Remove the dough from the bowl and knead on a lightly floured board about 10 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball and let rise in a lightly buttered bowl until doubled in bulk, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Step 6Punch down the dough and lightly knead in the macerated candied orange peel and raisins. Divide the dough in half. Shape each half into a ball. Place 1 ball into each of two 5-inch-wide and 3-inch-deep paper panettone liners on a baking sheet. Cut a cross on the top of each of the balls of dough. Brush the tops with melted butter.

Step 7Let the panettones rise until doubled, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Brush with butter. Put a second baking sheet under the panettones and bake in a 350-degree oven 30 to 35 minutes. When done, the panettones will be puffed and rich golden-brown.

Note: From Test Kitchen director Donna Deane.

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